Echuca in Victoria (Australia) is a town located on the banks of the Murray River. (Moama is on the northern side in NSW). Its location at the closest point of the Murray to Melbourne contributed to its development as a thriving river port city during the 1800s. At the 2001 census, Echuca had a population of 10,926.
Echuca, an Aboriginal name meaning “Meeting of the Waters” is indicative of the role rivers have played in the town’s existence. Echuca is situated close to the junction of the Goulburn, Campaspe and Murray Rivers.
The main industry in Echuca now is tourism, as visitors are attracted to the town by its warm climate, the river, its historical features such as the Port of Echuca, and sporting attractions, such as golf courses and lawn bowls greens. Annual activities include the Southern 80 waterski race (February) the Jazz, Food and Wine Festival (February) the Rotary Steam Horse and Vintage Rally (June) and the Red Cross Murray Marathon (December). The Port is home to the largest Paddle Steamer fleet in the world, which includes the world’s oldest surviving wooden hulled paddle boat, the 1866 built PS Adelaide. In 1984 a television mini-series, All the Rivers Run, based on a novel by Nancy Cato and starring Sigrid Thornton and John Waters, was filmed in and around Echuca. The local Paddle Steamer PS Pevensey, featured in the mini-series as the PS Philadelphia, still operates from the port. The airing of this series around Australia and internationally revitalized Echuca’s tourism economy.
Dairy, wheat, sheep and cattle farming are also important to the region. Echuca’s local government is managed by the Campaspe Shire.